Ok, so here I am, the bf… I will give my point of view on this experience, and go further in that story by telling you about our first proper plant-based diet day. It would not have been that interesting if we would have started this kind of diet at home… Even if there never really is a “good moment” to change your diet, there are some moments you should perhaps hold off, like when you are at your cheese loving parents’ house for example.
But anyway, here we are, Monday 24th July, my parents are coming back from their friends’ house and announce that for dinner their planning to grill these big fat marinated pork chops (which they proudly showed to me). And that was the moment I had to tell them, with an awkward smile, that Aleks and I don’t eat meat anymore and we decided to try a plant-based diet. My mom took it pretty well, she doesn’t really like meat herself so she is ok with that, and my dad think it ‘s just like growing a beard, everybody tries that nowadays. So even if I could feel their disappointment about the pork chops, they were very understanding.
With Aleks we decided to try to put some vegetables on a stick to participate in the barbecue anyway (our first real vegan meal, because Aleks wanted a “last meal” for breakfast so she had eggs and bacon, which was good anyway because they had been bought before we decided to change our diet). So Aleks prepared a marinade for the vegetables and I took the ready veggie sticks outside to grill them. My dad took a look at the sticks and said ” You should have put some shrimp on your sticks, that would have been good.” After trying to explain to him that shrimps are actually animals and I could see he was still confused. I got back inside to tell my mom and Aleks about the shrimp conundrum, Aleks laughed but my mom kinda agreed with my dad. In the end they finally gave up and agreed that maybe shrimp aren’t plants.
We thought my parents reaction was funny, especially the shrimps part, but it turned out to be nothing compared to the Aleks’ parents’ reaction!
The next day, Tuesday 25th, as Aleks has been in France for few weeks now, she is on a video call with her parents and decides to tell them about our newest lifestyle change. Her dad’s reaction was just “I can’t deal with this, just talk with your mom, I need to eat some cheese” and he apparently left for the kitchen. So she continues to talk with her mom who asked her “But you don’t think the earth is flat, right?” after Aleks answered negatively to that question her mom, reassured, called to her husband to come back. And here’s the kicker – she asks if we can still eat shrimps. It looks like our parents’ generation consider shrimp as some sort of weird vegetable rather than meat or just something not really animal but not really a vegetable either.
The funniest part for me is that when I say I am vegan I know what people think, because I was thinking the same just a few weeks ago. Despite my personal convictions I do not want to become a “fighting vegan” who makes it his mission to convert the meat-eating murderers of this world to veganism. Firstly, I believe people have the right to do what they want, we don’t want to judge people. And secondly, scaring others into a diet change does not seem like the best idea. Let’s be respectful of others’ opinions and engage in dialogue not argument.